BN.com Gift Guide

A Woman A Man Walked By

( 1 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
A Woman a Man Walked By arrived just a year and a half after PJ Harvey's equally difficult and brilliant White Chalk. That alone makes it notable, since the last time she released albums in such quick succession was the early to mid-'90s, around the same time of her last songwriting collaboration with John Parish, Dance Hall at Louse Point. That album's unbridled experiments provided a sharp contrast to the subversive polish of its predecessor, To Bring You My Love; while A Woman a Man Walked By isn't quite as overt an about-face from White Chalk, the difference is still distinct. Here, Harvey and Parish who played on and co-produced White Chalk trade sublime, sustained ...
See more details below
CD
$13.83
BN.com price
(Save 1%)$13.99 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (CD)
  • All (7) from $1.99   
  • New (3) from $9.97   
  • Used (4) from $0.00   

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Heather Phares
A Woman a Man Walked By arrived just a year and a half after PJ Harvey's equally difficult and brilliant White Chalk. That alone makes it notable, since the last time she released albums in such quick succession was the early to mid-'90s, around the same time of her last songwriting collaboration with John Parish, Dance Hall at Louse Point. That album's unbridled experiments provided a sharp contrast to the subversive polish of its predecessor, To Bring You My Love; while A Woman a Man Walked By isn't quite as overt an about-face from White Chalk, the difference is still distinct. Here, Harvey and Parish who played on and co-produced White Chalk trade sublime, sustained eeriness for freewheeling vignettes that cover a wider range of sounds and moods than her music has in years. They begin with "Black Hearted Love," the equivalent of Dance Hall at Louse Point's "This Was My Veil" -- that is, the album's most accessible moment: guitar-heavy yet sleek, its riffs full of pregnant pauses as Harvey hones in on the one she wants, the song's sinister romance initially seems dangerously close to melodrama "When you call out my name in rapture/I volunteer my soul for murder", but she sings "you are my black-hearted love" so tenderly and knowingly that it transcends cliché. This immediacy just makes the swift twists and turns the rest of A Woman a Man Walked By takes even more striking. The wildly jangling acoustic guitar and breathless vocals of the following track, "Sixteen Fifteen Fourteen," make that clear right away, but despite its nervy intensity, the song -- and the rest of the album -- is remarkably direct. Similarly, Harvey's character studies are just as vivid as other artists' really real, from-the-soul lyrics, and she embodies them just as completely: on "The Soldier," she sings of "walking on the faces of dead women" with haunted fragility; on "Daniel," she's a mother so devastated by loss that she can only mention it by name at the last possible moment. A Woman a Man Walked By also boasts songs that rank among Harvey's most intimate and seemingly confessional. From its shimmering guitar and mournful flute to its carefully observed words "you slept facing the wall", "Passionless, Pointless" captures a dying romance with dreamy desolation, while "Cracks in the Canvas" closes the album with the beautifully simple yet open-ended admission "I'm looking for an answer, me and a million others." Best of all, though, are A Woman a Man Walked By's furious -- and surprisingly hilarious -- moments, which leave conventional notions about sex and sexuality trampled in their wake. The first part of "A Woman a Man Walked By/The Crow Knows Where All the Little Children Go" finds Harvey deriding and lusting after a "woman man" with "lily-livered little parts," switching between a guttural snarl and fey soprano as she tears him to pieces the second, instrumental part is Parish's only solo credit on the album, a riot of pianos and twitchy percussion that's nearly as wound-up as what came before it. "Pig Will Not" is even rawer, mixing Rid of Me-like firepower with a wicked sense of humor and feral barking with lines like "true love is what we're doing now." Even the far quieter "Leaving California" reveals a surprising amount of mischief, invoking some of White Chalk's mist and gloom for its ironic kiss-off to the Golden State. Despite the album's many dark and evocative moments, there's a playfulness and liberated spirit underlying A Woman a Man Walked By. Parish and Harvey's idea of fun might be very different than that of many other artists, but hearing them cover so much musical and emotional territory is often exhilarating.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/31/2009
  • Label: Island
  • UPC: 602527006994
  • Catalog Number: 001281102
  • Sales rank: 246,189

Album Credits

Performance Credits
PJ Harvey Primary Artist, Vocals
John Parish Primary Artist, Track Performer, Musician
Carla Azar Drums
Eric Drew Feldman Bass Guitar, Keyboards
Giovanni Ferrario Guitar, Bass Guitar
Technical Credits
PJ Harvey Composer, Lyricist, Producer, Engineer
Jim Chapman Management
John Parish Composer, Producer, Engineer, Writer
John Dent Mastering
Rob Crane Cover Design
Charles Baudelaire Inspiration
Paul McGuinness Management
Maria Mochnacz Cover Design
Ali Chant Engineer
Shino Okamura Liner Notes
Sally-Anne McKeown Management
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Polly Pops My Cherry

    My first PJ Harvey purchase, believe it or not. This recording is ugly and passionate, with a driving undercurrent that runs from bluesy to honkytonk, to full on rock. Black Hearted Love takes the cake.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews